Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Feds knew about the salmonella last year

Federal officials said they knew about this dangerous form of samonella at a Cargill turkey plant last year.
Even knowing this, the feds did nothing until an outbreak killed one person and sickened 77 other people.
Cargill and the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the recall of ground turkey from the Cargill plant in Springdale, Ark., on Aug. 3.
The USDA said the third-largest meat recall in history affected 36 million pounds of ground turkey, and it took them all this time to do it.

The reasoning for the delay?
"We have constraints when it comes to salmonella," said Elisabeth Hagen, the USDA's top food-safety official. She said that unlike E. coli, salmonella isn't officially considered a dangerous adulterant in meat unless that meat is directly tied to an illness or death. (well congratulations, it has.
A routine USDA inspection last year of the Cargill plant in Arkansas turned up three samples contaminated with salmonella Heidelberg, the agency said. A USDA spokesman said the agency brought the findings "to the attention of the facility."

Meat plants are expected to pass a performance standard that allows up to 49.9 percent of tests to come back positive for salmonella. 
Researchers from Narms found salmonella Heidelberg in a package of ground turkey that came from the Cargill Arkansas plant.
In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began investigating clusters of salmonella Heidelberg illnesses that had begun in March. Antibiotic-resistant forms of salmonella such as Heidelberg have become a serious health problem because they cannot be treated with some common antibiotics. If untreated, infections can be fatal.